Month: December 2007 (page 1 of 3)

Evolution Of A Husband

I’ve been cleaning up my files this weekend in an effort to get ready for a brand new year. And while I’m not really a write-a-rough-draft-then-edit-it-to-make-it-better kind of girl when it comes to blogging – you know, I just write it as it comes – I do have a folder with snippets of ideas to think about later.

I’ve never actually used an idea from that folder. Until now.

I found this little bit I’d written last year right after Christmas:

Dave claims that I attempt to engage him in conversations for the sole purpose of getting him in trouble. He has labeled this so-called tactic “The Set-Up.” Here’s an example of what he’s talking about.

Leslie: “Am I a good wife?”

Dave: “Yeah, honey. You’re a great wife.”

L: “Well, how would you rate me? You know, if you were giving me a performance review.”

D: “Nah. No. I’m not doing this.”

L: “Doing what?”

D: “You’re setting me up.”

L: “What do you mean? I just asked a question.”

D: “Yeah, and when I answer it, you’ll get mad. I’m not doing this. Especially this close to Christmas.”

L: “I guess you’d give me a pretty bad rating since you don’t want to tell me.”

D: “Leslie, I am not doing this.”

L: Fair enough.

The conversation you just read occurred just before Christmas. It’s amazing what is revealed after Christmas is over and the pressure to be “nice” is off. This conversation happened just last night.

Leslie: “So, that comment you made about stripper money on Laurie’s blog the other day…seemed like you really knew what you were talking about.”

Dave: “Yeah! I meant to tip this girl two dollars, but the bills in my wallet were all mixed up and I gave her a twenty and a one instead of two ones.”

L: “WHAT?!?!”

D: “Oh, this was, like, seven or eight years ago.”

L: “You go to strip clubs?!?!”

D: “Only two times in my whole life.”

L: “You go to strip clubs!!?!?!”

D: “Honey, I haven’t gone to one since I met you and I will never go to one again. I have no desire to go now that I have you.”

L: “That’s good.”

D: “….”

L: “I mean, if you want to go to strip clubs, that’s fine. You can go. You just don’t need to come home afterwards.

D: “I’m not going to go to one.”

L: “And you should remember that every one of those girls has a father, just like your daughter.”

D: “Alright.”

(long pause)

L: “So, she must have been pretty good.”

D: “What?”

L: “She must have been a pretty good stripper for you to want to give her a tip.”

D: “No way. Nuh-uh. I know what you’re doing.”

L: “What? I’m just trying to figure out what makes a stripper tip-worthy. I mean, what did she do to earn that tip?”

D: “You’re setting me up.”

L: “I’d just like to know.”

D: “…”

All that got me thinking, so I decided to perform a little test.

Leslie: “Dave, am I a good wife?”

Dave: “You’re better than good. You’re the best.”

L: “Well, how would you rate me? You know, if you were giving me a performance review.”

D: “There isn’t a rating meaningful enough to measure how wonderful you are.”

Yeah, he’s come a long way, baby.

The Best Part Of Christmas

When I was a little girl, I loved Puff, the Magic Dragon. It was the second song on a children’s LP record album I owned; I nearly wore a groove in the vinyl from playing it so often.

It was no coincidence that my first pet was a cat called Puff.

That song took up residence in my young heart – somewhere deep inside, and a little to the left.

This year for Christmas, I passed this treasure from my childhood on to Julia through this lovely picture book endorsed by the original singer/songwriter Peter Yarrow and co-composer Lenny Lipton.

When she unwrapped it on Christmas morning, we immediately gave it a swift read through.

Later, when things quieted down, we snuggled on the couch together to look at it again. We put on the accompanying CD and read along with the music. Julia was drawn right in and didn’t notice the tears I was wiping away when “Jackie Paper came no more.”

Once the song ended, we read it again. This time, we took notice of the subtle characters on each page – rocks with friendly faces, smiling flowers and happy trees. And then, when the song began to play, this time an instrumental version, Julia was adamant that I sing the words as we flipped through the book one more time.

So, I began.

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea,
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

So far, so good. I continued.

Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff.

And on I went, until that verse. You know the one.

A dragon lives forever, but not so little girls and boys.
Painted wings and giants’ rings make way for other toys.
One gray night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more,
And Puff, that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain.

And so did my tears. Like a rainstorm. Or maybe a hurricane.

Julia asked me why I was crying, and I explained that it made me sad when Jackie Paper gets too grown up to play with Puff anymore. We lingered on that page, where Jackie Paper is walking off as Puff looks longingly after him.

Julia said softly, “He doesn’t have to grow up if he doesn’t want to.” And I could remember how I would hug my cat and tell him, “I’ll never grow up,” when this part of the song would play.

And then Julia slowly turned the pages of the book – that lovely, perfect book – to an image of a little girl, coming to play with Puff while a grown up Jackie Paper peeks around the corner. Her eyes lit up and she told me, “Look, Mom! A girl comes to play with Puff. Look! He makes a new friend. See? It isn’t sad.”

I tried to compose myself and said, “You’re right, I guess it isn’t. He does make a new friend.” Trying to divert her attention away from my silly sobbing I asked, “What do you think her name is?”

“Maybe it’s Julia.”

“Absolutely. It is.”

A Grimmett Family Christmas

An icy cold floor greeted our warm feet, fresh out of bed on Christmas Eve morning. By the time we reached the breakfast table, there was no denying the bitter chill in the air. After a little investigating, we found that the furnace wasn’t working because our oil supply had run out. Amid the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, I’d neglected to keep tabs on our fuel levels. I had no idea we were so low. (Or maybe on some subconscious level I did, but was secretly hoping I wouldn’t have to dish out that $3.03 per gallon until after the holidays.) I was relieved when the fuel company called to tell us they could get someone out to fill the tanks that afternoon. Until then, we put on socks and sweaters, lit the fireplace and went about our Christmas Eve business.

Julia and I watched Christmas shows and made some fudge.

Soon, a very merry oil delivery man arrived, filled the tanks and wished us a Happy Christmas as he was heading straight home for the holidays from here – his last stop of the day. We restarted the furnace and I stood above the hot air duct in the dining room to feel the shift in the air from cool to warm, but it never came. After even more investigating, button-pressing and mess-making, we found that our oil filter needed changed. It was jam-packed full of the yucky sludge that sits at the bottom of an oil tank. Since I’d let the oil run out, all that crud had been sucked into the filter. By the time we came to that realization, every oil furnace filter place in a 100 mile radius was closed for the holidays. So, we pulled out a few space heaters, cranked the fireplace up to a roar and decorated sugar cookies as we sang Christmas Carols.

Julia chose a few cookies to put out for Santa and I gave her a gift of Christmas pajamas to open. She took a bath, put on her new night-night clothes and headed for bed. She was so excited, I knew she wouldn’t fall asleep right away. So, I snuggled up next to her and we talked softly in the dark.

“What do you think Santa will bring you, Julia?”

“The baby that swims. I know he will, because he came to my house and I told him myself.”

“What else do you think he’ll bring?”

“Well, I think that’s all. Just the baby that swims. That’s all I asked for.”

I knew then that she was going to have a magnificent Christmas morning.

Once she drifted off to sleep, I got back up, and with the help of my mother, performed my elf duties. Two and a half views of A Christmas Story (or 5 hours) later, at 4 a.m., I was back in bed for, literally, a few winks of sleep. Before I could even dream, Julia was kissing my cheeks and saying, “Merry Christmas, Mommy!”

She woke the rest of the family and we all flew down the stairs. I grabbed my video camera just in time to get her reaction to the Christmas tree surrounded by presents. She bounced and shouted that Santa had come! Within moments of scanning the wrapped gifts, she pointed to one package and said, “There it is, Mom. That’s the baby that swims.” And she was right.

But, before she attempted to unwrap anything, she first located the gift she and my mom had made for Grandpa and insisted that he open that first – a gesture that was more of a gift than the thing she gave him. And then, only after she had delivered a gift to her Grandma, her Daddy and me, did she open her baby that swims – a toy she loves so much that she told me they are going to get married.

Julia in her Rose Petal Cottage

Peeking out of her new Rose Petal Cottage

I was so proud of that girl as she opened her presents. She asked me, before opening each one, who it was from and was more gracious than I knew a three-year old could be. She was genuinely thrilled by her gifts. If she opened a book, we had to read it straight away. If she unwrapped clothing, she had to put it right on. And when the unwrapping was done, she said, “I got so much more than I asked for! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!”

And then today, to really cement that idea of gratitude into her three-year old brain, we made thank you cards for the people who were generous enough to give her a present. In addition to adhering one thing to another, she wrote her name on each card.

Our Thank You Notes

And through it all, we managed to stay so warm and toasty, that I forgot to get a furnace filter today. Who needs heat when you’ve got the warmth of Christmas?

To You And Yours

Christmas Greeting

In Math, Random Is A Pattern

My bloggy pals Suz and Jan each tagged me for a Random Things About Me Meme; Suz asked for 7 and Jan asked for 8. Since I’m a full-service blogger, I’ll fulfill both requests. That means, I’ll share 15 things. You may feel free to debate their randomness in the comments.

Here we go.

  1. I am left-handed.
  2. When I was in fifth grade, I had a jean jacket covered in pins. You see, I collected the pins. One of them said, “Left-handed people are in their right minds!”
  3. I also had one that said, “I’m not fat, I’m just fluffy.”
  4. And another that said, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping” – words that still speak to me today. If I had to choose a motto for my life, that just might be it.
  5. Or maybe “Everybody have fun tonight! Everybody Wang Chung tonight!”
  6. Dave and I could Wang Chung every night, all night.
  7. I can’t think of anything that’s as fun as Wanging Chung.
  8. I had a dream last night that I swallowed my iPod. Then, I felt like I might puke, but I didn’t want to lose my iPod, so I fought the urge.
  9. I fell asleep listening to my iPod last night, which may explain the dream. At least the iPod part. I still have no idea why I swallowed it.
  10. Maybe I drifted off during “I Got The Music In Me.”
  11. I just started to Twitter. You should follow me.
  12. My reward to myself for completing this meme: playing Space Invaders.
  13. I think Space Invaders is the coolest video game, ever.
  14. Although PacMan is perfectly delightful.
  15. I know that you’re wondering how I could possibly rank Space Invaders higher than Guitar Hero on my video game list. My response: Guitar Hero isn’t a game. It’s a way of life.

That is all.

I Ain’t That Average Groupie

About a month ago, Sam over at Temporarily Me handed out The Nap Warden award to some “great blogs” she’d been reading. And, guess what?

Nap Warden Award

I was on the list!

When it happened, I was all, “Holy Frick! Sam is like a real blogger. Like, a good one. And she’s been reading my little blog? I had no idea!” I did a happy dance, then left a comment about how she made me feel all gushy and twirly. Then, I let her request for a list of my favorite blogs sit on my to-do list until now.

So, here I give you a list of the blogs I just have to read the moment they pop up in my feed reader. I guess you could call them my favorites.

1. Dooce. A mommy blogger without a subscription to Dooce is like a stock broker without a Wall Street Journal.

2. Finslippy. The most entertaining blog. Period.

3. Fluid Pudding. Angela gives me that 2:30-in-the-morning-conversation-and-we’re-getting-really-giddy kind of feeling. I love that.

4. Wiping Up Snot. I know, I know. Karly is on every list I ever make and you’re all like, “Enough with the PDA!” because I am totally blowing in her blog’s ear right now. But Karly is my favorite. I love Karly. I’m 100% positive that she’s my soul mate. And she just moved over to her own domain. If you consider that, this is like the first time I’ve ever linked to her. Plus, if you go to her new blog address right now, you will see that I am her TOP COMMENTER. Funk dat!

5. Dirty Little Secret. I’m not sure if I’m just falling in love or if I am witnessing greatness in the making, but this blog gets better and better with every entry.

6. Bubbles Writes. I’m lovin’ this girl. She’s real and she can write!

7. The World According To Suz. If I had met Suz in high school, I would have made it my mission to become her BFF. I would copy everything she did and have a secret crush on her. Kind of like the crush I have on her now, except it would be secret.

8. SusieJ. Think Goddess of Motherhood and you’ve got SusieJ. She’s exquisite. She has the kind of blog I wish I wrote.

Okay, I gotta stop somewhere and this is it. It’s hard to make lists like this! Someone awesome is always left out. (If you believe you are the awesome one that has been left out, feel free to submit a complaint in the form of a Baby Got Back song parody. It can be a video or just lyrics. Whatever.)

Oh, The Things That End Up In The Bed

Last night, it was puke. Puke in the bed. Courtesy of a sick Julia.

More than a few nights before that, I had a different bedtime suprise.

I had been sleeping soundly until I rolled onto my side and felt that my hip was wet. I thought, “Man, I must really be be sweating.”

As I began to wake up, I realized that it wasn’t just my hip that was wet, so was the bed. And my underwear.

That was when I freaked out.

I jumped up, felt myself all over and began to scream, “Oh no! Oh no! My water broke! My water broke! It’s too early! Oh no! We’ve got to get to the hospital!”

Then, Julia tugged on my nightgown and said sleepily, “Sorry I peed the bed, Mommy.”

It was her first nighttime accident.

I have never been so relieved. I shouted, with glee, and maybe even burst into song about how Julia peed the bed. It was much like the reaction Evelyn had in Fried Green Tomatoes when she learned that Mrs. Otis had died rather than Mrs. Threadgood. (And if you’ve never seen that movie, well, then you know what you need to do this weekend: watch Fried Green Tomatoes.)

Thankfully, Julia is feeling better, so I’m hoping for a night of slumber without the kind of interrutptions that require a sheet change and/or a shower at 3 a.m.

It’s What’s Going Around

After the Super-Duper Ultra-Fantastic Playgroup Christmas Party, Julia fell asleep…

After the Christmas Party

…with some sock monkey friends.

And I fell sick.

I am still sick.

I think that today, I am even worse.

I have spent at least fourteen of the last twenty four hours sleeping. And now, I’m going to go and sleep a little more. I’ll dream of you, though.

Your Skeletons May Fit In The Closet, But Mine Require Their Own Room

There was only one thing that went wrong during yesterday’s now famous Playgroup Christmas Party. It was really just a little something, in terms of the time it took to happen. But. It was so embarrassing and traumatic; it has become the reference point by which I will measure my life from this point on.

When was Lucy born? Right after THE INCIDENT. How long have Dave and I been married? Well, it was before THE INCIDENT, so at least X number of years.

You see, I’m a procrastinator. And while I said I spent the last month planning and anticipating the party, which I did, in my head; I did not spend the last month putting those plans into action. I saved the action for the very last possible minute. It’s what perfectionists like me do. We wait until the last minute to do things for fear of failing miserably. I mean, the more time I have to do something, the greater that something I do should be, right? But if I wait until the last moment and then pull off something great under the gun, I can feel good, because I delivered against the odds. I can also tell myself that while what I did was good, it could have been better if I’d had more time. Sure, I’m the one who made it a race against the clock, but that doesn’t matter in crazy Leslie’s brain.

So, I saved the bulk of my housecleaning for the party up until the day before. I mean, who can’t clean 2,000 square feet of dwelling space for four adults, one toddler and four cats in less than 24 hours?

The answer would be me at five months pregnant.

So, around 1 a.m. on Monday night / Tuesday morning, I conceded defeat to the powers of filth and clutter and made a compromise. In other words, I got so freaking tired, I took some shortcuts. I did not wash down all my woodwork; I swiffered it. I did not wash all my windows; I spot cleaned the finger marks. I neither folded and put away my clean laundry, nor did I sort and wash my dirty; I threw it all in my bedroom. I did not repair Julia’s ripped books or clean her dirty toys; I threw them in my bedroom. I did not haul boxes meant for the attic to the attic; I threw them in my bedroom. I then ripped into the boxes while trying to find the Santa sack I’d purchased last year and I neither replaced the items I pulled out of them nor did I restack them in an organized fashion. I also piled a box fan, one humidifier, a sewing stool, various scrapbooking supplies, boxes of photos, books, and cds into my bedroom. After I turned out the light to go to bed and I knocked various unidentifiable items over, I did not pick them up. I just neglected to pick up my feet and, therefore, created a path from the door to my sleeping spot. When I woke in the morning, I did not make the bed. I did not lift a finger in that bedroom. I simply shut the door and gave Julia a very stern warning that the door was not to be opened during playgroup under any circumstances at all.

This meant that during playgroup, Julia opened the forbidden door and invited all of her friends in to hunt for monsters, which one of the other playgroup mothers discovered first. To make matters worse, her daughter was hiding in there for the monster hunt and did not want to come out. So, she had to go and get her out. She not only viewed the scene but had to go in and experience my pit of humiliation and retrieve her child.

I was mortified.

I’m not certain what my next step should be. A written apology? Perhaps I should just let it go so as not to draw more attention to it. Or now that the room is clean, perhaps I could invite her over and be certain that she walks past the open door to see the now spotless bedroom to prove that I’m not as negligent as that room may have insinuated. And my unborn baby really was not conceived in a pig sty.

I don’t know people. I guess what I really need is for you all to tell me that you have a hidden room like that. You do, right? Oh for the love of my sanity, please tell me you do.

The Playgroup Christmas Party (a.k.a. My Husband Is A Rock Star)

After a month of planning and anticipation, the day finally arrived. The Playgroup Chrstmas Party. Julia and I have been so excited about hosting this event. And I’m telling you people, it was AWESOME. We have the best playgroup in all the land. Seriously. You so want to be in our playgroup.

I made and served my standard Santa cupcakes, among other delicious things.

My Santa Cupcakes

I stacked those edible Santa heads on tiers and surrounded them by cute little keepsake Christmas characters like this –

Julia The Reindeer

– each displaying the face of a playgroup member.

I had also made a video slideshow of our playgroup from the past year and put it on DVD as a gift to each of the parents. We viewed it after everyone arrived. Then, the kids played until a special visitor arrived.

Santa Claus!

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s the hottest Santa I’ve ever seen.

Throughout the chaos, I was able to grab a tiny bit of video. There’s a 20 second snippet of my very hot husband Santa in action here.

I wish I had caught the kid’s reaction when he first came through the door. It was priceless. I’ll never forget Julia and her friends jumping around and shouting, “It’s Santa! It’s Santa!”

We had worried a little bit that Julia might recognize her Daddy through the costume – she’s not easily fooled. But we knew all was well when, after Santa left, Julia told me, “I wish Daddy could have seen Santa!”

Once the big man had left the building, the kids exchanged gifts, which was glorious because the presents were so very thoughtful and appropriate. Every child was gracious and happy, and incredibly willing to share their new toys. I’m telling you – we have the best playgroup in the world. And that’s the best Christmas present I could ever receive – a home full of friends. And maybe seeing Dave in a Santa suit.

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